Santorini is a beautiful location, there is a reason it is a destination that everyone talks about and recommends, but it is massively over hyped. I’ve been to busy destinations, but if there is one place that tourists are ruining, it is Santorini.
I wanted to check it off my bucket list having seen so much about the island so booked to go. We spent three and a half days in Santorini as part 2 of our honeymoon after visiting Athens. I’d read a lot about the island before booking it, but here are 7 things no one tells you about Santorini!
7 Things No One Tells You About Santorini
1. People queue to get this iconic shot
If you have seen anything about Santorini, you know that it is home to the blue domes and white buildings built into the side of the cliff edge. The picture below is found as part of everyone’s photos, but what you probably are not told, is the queue that people form to take the photo.
We headed there early in the morning on our way into the village, but anytime later on in the day and you will be sure to find yourself in a queue! They’ve even had to put up a rope just below to stop tourists swarming the domes themselves. You can see that behind in the photo as well.
2. Getting that Instagram shot is ruining the island
It was actually really sad walking around Oia and continually finding more and more things that stop tourists from being idiots. Not that it stops some still!
See these stop no entry signs written on top of the roof of these homes. This is a common site across Oia along with other barriers.
Now see this idiot tourist ignoring those signs in order to get that Instagram shot. She climbed over the wall, slid down the curve of the roof and walked along the edge of the building while her partner took a photo!
3. People wait for HOURS to watch the sunset
This one is just bizarre to me! 2-3 hours prior to the sunset people arrive along the far west part of the village to watch the sunset. They line the already thin streets and claim their spot ahead of the event and then wait… for hours… It happened every evening we were in Oia and seems to be the done thing.
Jack and I just booked a seat at a restaurant with a sunset view called Elinikon which meant we were not surrounded by thousands of people all just waiting and we got to eat!
4. Porters have a really hard time
Especially in Oia where we stayed, the streets are largely pedestrianised. This means that when the idiot tourist couple arrives with their overweight large suitcases and carry on small ones, some poor porter is going to feel obliged to carry them while you wander behind them taking in the view.
I literally saw this happen; one porter carrying a large suitcase on his shoulder with two carry on suitcases hanging off the handle, while carry another large suitcase sideways and being followed by two perfectly fit tourists.
Along with being pedestrianised, there are hundreds of steps up along the main roads and then if you’re staying in the cliff edge, they have to carry them up and down those stairs too.
Please do not be one of those tourists!
5. Donkeys are still used by ignorant tourists
I can not believe this is still a thing in 2018! You can hire a Santorini donkey to carry you up the steep climbs in various parts of Santorini. Overweight tourists have been riding them for so many years that they’ve now introduced cross-bred mules to cater for them.
Donkeys are out for so long in the heat of the day without adequate shade or water and run into the ground. Santorini Animal Welfare Association (SAWA) are continually having abandoned donkeys dropped off to them when they are no longer fit enough.
6. The streets are packed most of the time
Before our trip, I had heard that it was busy and we chose to stay in Oia in the north of the island which is probably the busiest village on the island due to how pretty it is. It was also the place recommended for the best sunsets which is probably what everyone else hears too.
As a result, coach loads of tourists from cruise ships get dropped off between 11 am and 4 pm every day and suddenly the streets of Oia are packed!
I also created a holiday video if you want to see how busy the streets are!
7. Sorry, but the sunset isn’t all that!
Was it worth the wait? No. It’s literally just a sunset and honestly, I think the sunset colours were prettier from the south of the island as seen in my blog post on our 3 1/2 days in Santorini.
It was interesting to watch it fade away as it disappeared around the edge of the earth, but that was about it. I’ve seen better sunsets.
How many of my 7 things no one tells you about Santorini did you know?
I really enjoyed our trip to Santorini, but the cream was definitely taken off the top by the pure idiocy of some tourists and the amount of people. Would I go back? No. Was I glad I went? Yes.
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